When the City of Arnold, MO had to remove an 1890 farmhouse to build a new municipal facility, they called the intrepid non-profit Refab to safely, responsibly take the old home apart and make its fine vintage materials available to appreciative new users, through resale.
Eric Schwarz - a young guy with good tools, Green vision and business sense - launched Refab just three years ago. He is building on experience gained while earning a Fine Arts degree, teaching about sustainability around STL, and managing sales and deconstruction for the Habitat For Humanity St. Louis ReStore. He's providing steady, well-paying jobs for veterans who need a hand, in a partnership with St. Patrick Center. And he's leading efforts to keep over 1,000 tons of useful stuff a year in use, instead of going to landfills.
Refab sells what they deconstruct: flooring, beadboard, and de-nailed lumber of all kinds; vintage plumbing and lighting fixtures, cabinets (carefully removed) - and more. Resale store prices make these items a great bargain for designers and builders of restaurants, new homes, and businesses with sustainable tastes.
This month Refab celebrates a big move to a new 30,000 ft2 warehouse at 3130 Gravois in St. Louis, recycling the former Union Brewery into working and sales space. Join the celebration on October 30 - and shop Refab's material treasures every Friday-Sunday, 9 am-5 pm. Your business supports this intrepid non-profit, giving new life to amazing stuff and jobs to guys who've served our country. And you get the goods and deals!
Music this podcast: Measure Once, recorded at KDHX 2011 by Matthew Van Doren. This is a woodworking musical pun for you, Eric - JP
With a river basin flowing through 31 states, the Mississippi drains Earth's fourth largest watershed, some say it's #3! A recent study of its revenue-generating power reported $405 billion bucks a year, supporting 1.3 million human jobs. It also supports phenomenal fish, plant and animal life - and millions of living creatures, including us, are drinking it every day.
It should get our attention, therefore, that a recent river Report Card brought home just a D+ average grade. Some bright spots for sure, but plenty of room for improvement. Mayors all along the river are taking notice - and taking action!
Colin Wellenkamp, this Earthworms podcast guest, is Executive Director of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative. He works with mayors of river towns from the Minnesota headwaters to the delta in New Orleans, and cities across the Mississippi Basin from the Rockies to the Alleghenies. Mayors are calling for a "River Basin" approach to understanding and addressing the issues behind that funky grade. They're speaking with one voice about the Mississippi's issues, and seeking cooperative ways to rebuild river infrastructure, protect river biodiversity and health - and promote enjoyment of a U.S. resource more popular with visitors from around the world than the Grand Canyon.
In this podcast you'll hear stunning facts about the Mississippi River's value and power - and ways you can join a rising tide of appreciation and support for this planetary treasure.
Music: Balkan Twirl
Sorry about you, little pale bulbs in the grocery store package! Slow Food St. Louis aims to get a bunch of the SIX HUNDRED varieties of heirloom garlic growing and thriving and feeding us here by "Crop-Sourcing" Project Garlic.
Brian DeSmet, Slow Food St. Louis board member and GardenWorks Manager for Schlafly Brewing, tells all - OK, a LOT - about this super-food, a plant that's super-easy to grow, a part of human eating pleasure for more than 7,000 years!
Launching its second year this month, Project Garlic is recruiting dozens of home gardeners, local farmers and foodies willing to dig in the dirt. Slow Food has purchased heirloom garlic varieties from Baker Creek Seeds and Filaree Garlic Farm. They're giving bulbs to growers, who'll return bulb stock from next summer's harvest. Result? This plant's amazing variety of subtle flavors blooms with biodiversity here through Farmers' Markets, CSAs . . . maybe even into those grocery store aisles.
Hardneck, Softneck - Allium bulb - Stripey, Turbaned, Rocambole - Join the Garlic growing club!
Music: Cookie Mouth by The Provels
Water is our most valuable resource, essential to everything we do in life, for every living thing. Yet the systems - the infrastructure that delivers and cleans our water, and the natural systems that provide it - are invisible to most of us. Water is life - water is FUN! Let's turn on some water-savvy stewardship and good ole' water sense.
Radhika Fox, CEO of the U.S. Water Alliance and Director of the Value of Water Coalition, is leading a national education effort called "Imagine a Day Without Water" to irrigate everyone's power to protect our water supplies. Ms. Fox talks with jean Ponzi about water supply challenges our nation must address, and ways that our communities are innovating water system protection and conservation measures.
Want to learn more? Download a "What's the Value of Water Toolkit" for your school, faith community, business or home.
Thanks to you, H20 - Cheers!
Music: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 - J.S. Bach